Three days into 2020, global affairs were shaken by the assassination of Iran’s top general, Qasem Soleimani, via drone strike authorized by President Trump. Since then, tensions in the region have escalated.
As the irrevocable consequences of war become more concerning for civilians of Iran and U.S. troops within the region, some of the biggest political and media leaders in the U.S. have been spreading narratives that depict conflict with Iran as necessary, even beneficial.
For anybody interested in how a reckless assassination that might lead to an apocalyptic war could be redeemed and framed by media as a jingoistic and dangerous achievement, here's how it starts. https://t.co/ARPiWOeLv2
— Jared Yates Sexton (@JYSexton) January 3, 2020
In the Warhawk punditry being platformed by just about every significant news source, there is a lack of nuance surrounding U.S. history with Iran. If provided, this context would make it clear that the U.S. should take no course of action other than withdrawing troops from the region.
Many people on social media cited a Dec. 31 protest at the U.S. embassy in Baghdad as justification for the assassination of Soleimani. President Trump even claimed that Iran orchestrated the protests. No proof of that claim has been offered.
Our government has a history of lying to get involved in foreign conflicts. The most infamous case in recent history being the Bush Administration’s false claims of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, which resulted in a war that the U.S. has been stuck in for nearly two decades.
Just a few months ago, the Washington Post revealed that U.S. military leaders have been lying for years about the state of the war in Afghanistan. It is not a leap to assume that once again, our government is lying to rally support for war.
What many Americans won’t hear is that our history of tensions with Iran started in 1953 when the American government overthrew the democratically elected Iranian Prime Minister, Mohammed Mosaddegh. Since that first act of violence, the U.S. has terrorized Iran, causing chaos within the region.
Even the narratives of Soleimani’s role in this conflict have been distorted to make the U.S. look more justified. Many Americans who likely had not heard of Soleimani a month ago have been quick to spread the talking point that he was a bad person because he killed Americans. Soleimani did kill Americans, but these were not civilians, they were U.S. troops.
While any death during war is devastating, as any unnecessary loss of life is, Soleimani is not a monster for fighting back against a force trying to invade his home.
The U.S. has been illegally occupying countries in the region for decades and has been known to harm, rape and kill civilians and ravage entire towns.
Like the vast majority of people who have experienced devastation as a result of U.S. occupation, Soleimani wanted the United States out.
The people of Iran, as well as Iraq, Afghanistan and many other nations in the Middle East, have a right to defend themselves against the foreign presence that is invading their homes.
Just recently, Iraq’s government voted unanimously for the U.S. to leave, but our government is refusing to listen. American troops could stay alive if our government would just bring them home. Instead, they are being left as sitting ducks in a country that just wants sovereignty.
If it was the Iranian military occupying Montclair, turning the new School of Communication and Media to rubble, Americans would likely have no issue with violent resistance to that threat.
Americans should put themselves in the shoes of Iranians. It is not hard to wish for the safety of our troops and still understand that their role in this conflict is that of the aggressor.
I spent 2 years serving in the military Honor Guard.
Had to bury 100s of soldiers that died in war.
I folded the flag & handed it to working class families, “On Behalf of the United States Military, We are Sorry for your loss.”
It won’t be Billionaires kids dying out there. pic.twitter.com/FIMjvNmFi2
— Anthony V. Clark (@anthonyvclark20) January 3, 2020
Whether it is out of sympathy for the civilians of a foreign country or our own military, Americans must avoid letting this conflict be reduced to “good guys versus bad guys.” Instead, we should demand our government withdraw our troops and end its war crusade in the Middle East, once and for all.